New Year, New Reads

Having just finished re-reading, The Siberians, by Farley Mowat, which was published in 1970, I am on to a few new reads this New Year. Thank goodness my loved ones hear my request to put new titles under the Christmas tree. I don’t need a new sweater or jewelry (I can knit the first and rarely wear jewelry), I’m not into gadgets or tech things, nor would any new kitchen appliances be useful. So, the lovely home-made extra large blackboard (for my never-ending long lists) and the new books were just the things to get this New Year rolling in the right direction! The mighty blackboard, as we are calling it, is hung in the kitchen already graffitied with a long list of ‘to do’s’ and dates and things to remember. What I can do with a clean slate and a piece of chalk!
As for the small delicious stack of new books that I am reading and savoring, here’s the list:

Overstory, by Richard Powers

Midnight In Siberia, by David Greene

My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry, by Fredrik Backman

The Lambs, My father, And The Gift Of A Flock Of Sheep, by Carol George

Also, there was my renewed subscription to The Small farmer’s Journal (A Quarterly Periodical, Defending Small Farms and Craftsmanship Since 1976.)

So you can certainly understand why I wish for deep snow and blustery weather during the winter. Up early, stoke the fires, do chores, cross a few ‘to do’s’ off the mighty blackboard… then, late afternoon, settle into a comfy chair by the woodstove and read. Oh, what joy! Have you any suggested titles you’d like to share? I would love to hear them!

27 comments on “New Year, New Reads

  1. what wonderful gifts! I hope for the deep snow soon, as do my little raised beds. I just had nearly two weeks off from work, it was heavenly! I did so much knitting! Not a lot of reading, though.

    However, a book I loved, and which you have likely already read a thousand times is the Outermost House. I dream of having a year of peace and contemplation, mixed with the tasks necessary for survival. I dream of it most in winter when the lure of the fire and a cozy home are strong, but the reality is that I have to go out and do what it takes to survive – work!

    Now, here is a question for you. We have noticed that almost all of our birds are gone, and have been for about a month! Since one of those bad wind and rain storms. Our neighbors have also noticed it (at first we thought they had better bird food than we did, and were luring the lovelies away!) We went from big flocks of gold and purple finches, pine buntings, chickadees, tufted titmice, nuthatches,mourning doves, cardinals, and blue jays to just a few chickadees. Has anyone else noticed that? Where we used to have to fill the feeder twice a day, it now lasts several days. Very curious!

    • Right there with you! i could easily tuck away for an extended period of time, the more remote the better! Books, knitting, a basket of food, and perhaps some wine…survival tools! let me ask Rick about the birds. Here they are continuing to come to the feeder even though there are some predators lurking…fox tracks have gone through, owls very present, and they are also sharing their vittles with an abundance of squirrels ( too many!!). As I said, I’ll ask Rick and follow up. Glad you are doing well and hope to see you in the spring! Here, I am on a mitten knitting frenzy to go along with some leather chopper mitts I am designing and sewing up. What about you?

      • I joined in the spin for 15 minutes movement this year, spinning at least 15 minutes a day. I find it leads to more than that! But I am also working on a reknit of a sweater for mom, and a couple of shawls. I feel like I would be more productive if I didn’t have to work for a living, lol!

  2. I just finished the Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston which was great
    Am currently reading Margret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin which is intriguing but weird

  3. Hi Denise, Happy New Year ! :). Lets see I’m trying to remember the last book I read :/ ( I like to watch movies ) I read a really fun book called In Grandmas attic. I think you’d love it too. Another book I really enjoyed is called Midnight Express (The movie is good too) its about an American student who went to Turkey in 1977 and smuggled out some hashish which he sold at home in N.Y he made so much money he wanted to do it again so he went back to Turkey a second time but he got caught and was sentenced to LIFE in prison. I’m getting goose bumps just thinking about it. Its a true story about the time he spent in prison and his decline until he catches the Midnight express which is a prison word for escape! I think you’d enjoy both the movie and the book.

    • Sounds thrilling, I’ll look for it. Have to be a bit careful of books that unsettle my head with despair or tragedy, I can have a difficult time not letting those stories ( often true tales) plaguing me for days! I will give it a try though! Always so good to hear from you. How are those gals of yours???

  4. P.S The Midnight Express is written by Billy Hayes about his personal experience and In Grandmas attic is written by Arleta Richardson.

  5. Happy New Year, Denise. The Overstory is on my winter reading list, too. It’s waiting for me to pick up from the library as soon as I get plowed out.

  6. Happy New Year! I got the The OverStory for Christmas too – looking forward to reading it! And one of these springs, I will get up to your nursery too.

    • Happy New Year Kathleen! Sounds like Overstory was a big hit under the tree this season. Have not started it yet but looking forward to it. Would love to have you visit the nursery, see you in the spring, perhaps!

  7. Have you read Palace of the Snow Queen? One of my very favorite books. Also, How to catch a frog. Signed, your friendly librarian.

  8. Denise I hope its ok to reply to your replies. All your friends sound so nice 🙂 I’m home alone. Have you seen the movie Home Alone ? Its one of our favorite Christmas movies.

    • I must tell you of a funny story regarding the movie Home Alone. Part of it was filmed on a side street in NYC. I was teaching at a small school and my classroom windows looked out onto that street. Needless to say my class had their noses pressed to the windows as fake snow was created and blown onto the street. Much to our surprise some one followed that with a can of dirty water which was strewn of the snow to make it look city authentic. I much prefer the clean snow of Maine.

  9. The book group I belong to recently read The Boys in the Boat (Daniel James Brown), and My Dear Hamilton (Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie). Both are excellent. The first is about the crew team who went to the Olympics in 1936 (in the midst of Hitler’s rise to power)—very compelling book, even for a non-sports-type like me! And My Dear Hamilton is exceptionally well-researched historical fiction about Alexander Hamilton’s wife–lengthy, fascinating, and perfect to read by the fire. Enjoy!

    • Oh good, two more to add to the list. I have heard of The Boys In The Boat, and it has come with great reviews. Definitely interested in your second suggestion, love history and have read a few about Alexander Hamilton already, one about his wife sounds fascinating. Thank you so much! let’s hope for a lengthy winter! Happy New year, Naomi!

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